Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mardi Gras Mambo #1

"God! I don't want to see your tits!"
-Brandon Bergman

"Absolutely Indescribable!" is what I said to my mother on Ash Wednesday when I attempted to paint a picture for her of what Mardi Gras is in New Orleans. Or what it was....the only representation she understands is what she has seen on pre-Katrina re-broadcasts of "COPS". Even though I think that that depiction is accurate to some degree, the daytime activities of Mardi Gras are so much more beautiful than seeing some female from Arkansas expose herself for thrice-turned beads or the evidence of someone shitting their pants around 6:30 P.M. (yes...things turn rather ugly after the sun goes down), I am only interested in celebrating the glory of this marvelous day, where anywhere else but in New Orleans, it is just Tuesday.

I had the great fortune of joining a well-organized Krewe this year. "Krewe Woo-Hoo!" has been in existence for a while, and is a function of a lot of really good people who love to have a good time. Nothing more. A King and Queen are selected to represent this informal group and are paraded through the streets of the Vieux Carre to tremendous excitement and cheers throughout this unbridled day of sheer joy and merriment. The theme of this year's Mardi Gras was "Krewe Woo-Hoo Takes To The Garden". There were many representations of fantastical garden-y things: butterflies, a Grand Ladybug, a carrot, a sexy bunny and an entire troupe of garden gnomes attended the festival. The parade was led by a very talented group of musicians from all over the world, presiding over the affair with drums and bagpipes.
(Please see my videos on my Facebook page for an idea of the music provided for our romp through the French Quarter). Occasionally, a piper gnome would let out a rhythmic cry of "All hail the King and Queen of Woo-Hoo!". To which the participants and the crowd would respond "Woo-Hoo!" I am not doing the experience justice, as I said before, it is indescribable. This parade even boasts a confetti cannon that periodically blasts joy into the streets in the form of shredded paper in a rainbow of colors. Magical!

The festivities with this Krewe seemed to culminate in a sojourn by the riverside where Grande Proclamations are read and new royalty are announced for the following year, as well as the theme for the next Mardi Gras celebrations. Things are altered a bit for the coming Fat Tuesday, as there is not a King and Queen, but a single Empress will preside over Krewe Woo-Hoo's Mardi Gras festivities in 2011. Jaclyn MacCabe is the Empress Elect, and will reign over the theme of "Krewe Woo-Hoo Dreams Of Venice". I'm already imagining my costume for next Mardi Gras.

I resisted joining this wonderful band of people last year, because I wanted to experience my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans on my own. Although I have no regrets to that decision, I cannot imagine a better way to spend a Tuesday before Lent any other way but with this group of merry-makers. God Bless Us All!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you were able to get out. We masked as shut-ins this year.